Global spirits companies gather in Dublin to discuss future of the industry

Event will see global sector leaders meet to discuss relevant issues impacting the sector and plan how to address them



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14 June 2022

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Representatives of the spirits industry from around the world will gather in Dublin this week for the spiritsEUROPE Congress 2022, as the sector plans for growth amidst the opening up of hospitality around the world following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Company CEOs and leaders of representative bodies will be hosted by Drinks Ireland. The event will see global sector leaders meet to discuss relevant issues impacting the sector and plan how to address them.

spiritsEUROPE is the representative body for the spirits industry at European level comprising 31 associations – of which Drinks Ireland is one – and 10 international companies. Its mission is to represent, defend and promote the European spirits sector and help members achieve sustainable business growth.

The representative body and its members will also be joined in Dublin by representatives of the American and Australian spirits industries.

One of the themes of the congress will be how spirits companies can help in the recovery of the tourism sector in Europe. It is estimated that every job in the spirits sector supports around 11 jobs in hospitality, with spirits products important when it comes to hotels, bars and restaurants offering premium experiences to customers.

At the same time, following two-years of pandemic restrictions, spirits tourism in Europe is to return in 2022 with existing and new distillery visiting centres having reopened their doors to the public. The international gathering will also discuss future trends impacting upon the sector including changes in how consumers are socialising and the increasing move toward digital marketing strategies.

Martin Heydon, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said: “The spirits sector is a vital one for Ireland, both in terms of agricultural inputs and exports. In 2021 Irish spirit exports (and in particular Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream liqueur) were in excess of 23.8 million 9 litre (12 bottles) cases sold with an estimated value of €1.24 billion. The pandemic took its toll on the sector, as hospitality closed, and foreign travel paused. It is heartening to see the determination of the spirits industry, here in Ireland and across the EU, to recover and grow into the future.”

“The spirits sector is one of Ireland and Europe’s most valuable agri-food export sectors. Within the EU, our industry spans 44 product categories and includes a host of geographically-specific products that contribute to the culture of their regions,” said Vincent McGovern, director of Spirits in Drinks Ireland. “From an Irish perspective, our spirits products are very popular globally, with Europe and the United States major markets for Irish spirts such as Irish whiskey and Irish cream liqueur. In recent years Irish gin has also been making its mark. As we emerge from the shadow of the pandemic, our focus this week will be on the future, on growth and on promoting our premium, quality products.”



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